Listen up, punks and noiseniks: The Canadian band’s fifth album in 17 years is inarguably their best. It rocks like fuck; It scratches like a rabid kitten. It’s tuneful and noisily offensive at the same time. All of which should tell you something about The Ex-Boyfriends even if you’ve never heard of them.
The Ex-Boyfriends come from Calgary and I’m willing to bet they’re the best-in-breed in that neck of the woods. If Calgary’s music scene is half as fractured as anywhere else, it takes a lot of balls to be a rock and roll band. Big ones if you play noisy punk rock. Shamefully, I’d forgotten they were around until a notice about this heavy-diuty chunk of vinyl landed in the post box.
This is a simple and simply beguiling record, pared back rather than pared to the bone and impregnated with pop smarts. If the Johnny Cash take-off on the cover art didn't tell you already, it doesn't take itself too seriously either.
If you didn’t twig already, Honest John Plain is one of the survivors of the UK punk scene, recruited into the first line-up of the band that became The Boys way back in 1975. In-between re-appearances by The Boys, Plain has been surfacing in his own bands ever since.
Punk rock icon Jeff Dahl is making his first album in eight years and has launched a spectacular crowd-funding campaign to float it.
Dahl’s long career as a solo artist (and collaborator with the likes of Poison Idea, Cheetah Chrome and half the LA punk scene) went on hold after he upped stakes and moved home from Arizona to his former home of the Hawaiian Islands.
Health issues precluded him from doing much, musically-speaking, but he’s now well and itching to record.
As well as baseline offers of an album download and physical copy of the CD (the latter only available to pledgers), Dahl has has opened his own treasure trove of personal memorabilia to sweeten the deal.
“Since I have no children and I am almost as old as dust I've decided to part with some of my precious, precious...," Dahl says.
"Like my Hoyer 5060, Les Paul-style guitar which was previously owned by Stooge Ron Asheton used during his New Order days, and Gregg Turner of the Angry Samoans (pictured).
“Want my wretched old leather touring jacket? It has enough of my DNA to clone an army of Jeff Dahl's!
“One of Stiv Bator’s old belt buckles and with some cool memorabilia? Ian Hunter's book with his and Mick Ronsons autograph? That would look good on your shelf.
“You say you want test pressings? I got 'em! 45 Graves' first release, various Jeff Dahl, MF 666, Vox Pop? Yep, I gots 'em and you can buy 'em! How 'bout some rare old vinyl with autographs by folks like Neil Young or the 'Classic" Motorhead line-up of Lemmy, Philthy and Fast Eddie? Nikki Sudden? I got him too! “
Contest the claim if you like, but there isn’t a better Ramones album than “Leave Home”, their second long-player.
Yes, the debut was retrospectively ground-breaking and a beacon for rock and roll’s shift back-to-basics, but “Leave Home” surely should have been the point where “punk” (at least as America knew it) crossed the line, converting from Cult Curiosity to Mainstream Soundtrack.
High-tensile guitars, off-colour humour, melodies and energy live large within its groove. Bubblegum, doo-wop, pop and rock bundled into the perfect musical package, married to an image of teen rebellion, leather jackets and shades. What the fuck is there not to love?
LIsten up, revheads and rock dogs. The exclusive world debut of the video clip for Melbourne punks Grindhouse’s latest song is upon us. “SLR 5000” is from Grindhouse’s second album, “Crazy Pussy”, which was recorded with Red Kross and Off! legend Steve McDonald at his Los Angeles studio, The Whiskey Kitchen.
If you can't work out the narrative, here's how Grindhouse describes their video: "In a high stakes, high octane duel to the finish line Two Fingers and Dick Rider battle it out for the title of the Grindhouse 1000. But who will win? Created by the legendary mind of Mike Foxall at Art Of The Fox, it’s a drive back to a simpler, more dangerous time". Works for us.
“Crazy Pussy” is billed as “12 tracks of blazing idiocy”. It's the second album for Grindhouse and it’s being launched this Saturday at Melbourne’s Cherry Bar from 2pm with an all-star line-up that includes Meatbeaters, Killerbirds, Kit Convict & The Terrible Two, Sheriff Don Fernando, Birdcage and My Left Boot.
You can grab a copy of “Crazy Pussy” on limited edition red vinyl or CD from Conquest Of Noise now. Go here for the red platter and herefor the shiny silver thing.
Biased? No, I'm not biased. Why do you ask? See, Adelaide's Fear and Loathing (aka FAL) is the band everyone should see, experience or endure, at least four times in their lives.
First gig: At the sight of a bunch of late 40-somethings making what they sometimes call music and what everyone else calls punishment, you will feel an uncontrollable urge to get extremely drunk. You will not remember getting home.
Second gig: Still hungover from last time, you turn up because you've realised that you didn't quite take it all in, and they've got this hypnotic scrunch about them. By now you're tapping your toe, occasionally jiggling along gingerly. You find yourself buying the band numerous jugs of pale ale. You find yourself driving home at midday, fairly certain you're going in the right direction.